Trump Rallies in MS for Embattled Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

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Hyde-Smith was challenged by an ultra-right Republican, State Senator Chris McDaniel, and by Espy, a former Democratic congressman and cabinet official in the Clinton administration. "A win's a win", the Republican said.

But she has been engulfed in a political storm since a video surfaced showing her praising a supporter at a November 2 public event by saying: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row". This was widely understood as a casual reference to Mississippi's long and gruesome history of lynching, which took the lives of hundreds of black men in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Cory Booker (D-NJ), both potential 2020 presidential candidates, have visited MS during the runoff election to campaign on behalf of Espy. She was troubled by Hyde-Smith's remark about hanging. And, given that Hyde-Smith was in the process of showing some pretty ugly true colors at the time, Major League Baseball should not have done it. A separate video showed her talking about "liberal folks" and making it "just a little more difficult" for them to vote. Whose judgement was it that a donation to her campaign, in that amount, at that particular time, made sense?

A state spokesman says five additional nooses have been found hanging in trees outside the Mississippi Capitol, bringing the total to seven.

Pressley participated in campaign events and posted a video on social media in support of Espy.

Amid the hubbub around the race - which at first was expected to go comfortably Republican - President Donald Trump travelled to Mississippi on the eve of the vote to campaign for Ms Hyde-Smith. She later apologized "to anyone that was offended".

He painted Democrat Mr Espy as a far-left ideologue who would "rather protect illegal aliens than people who live in Mississippi", and questioned how he "fit in with Mississippi".

Trippi advised Jones during his improbable win in Alabama previous year, and emphasized that Jones won by only 23,000 votes despite facing a historically bad opponent who motivated Democratic voters and depressed GOP turnout.

Espy was seeking to become the first black senator for MS since Reconstruction in the post-Civil War era.

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His campaign has pushed the idea that electing Ms Hyde-Smith would stoke the trope of Mississippi as a racist southern state.

Democratic opponent Mike Espy, 64, a former US agriculture secretary, replied: "I don't know what's in your heart, but I know what came out of your mouth". About 38 percent of the state's residents are black.

The Senate announced it has reached a bipartisan deal on the issue, but if remains unclear whether Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell will choose to hold a vote in the lame-duck session before Democrats take control of the House in 2019.

Hyde-Smith gave birth to her and her husband's only child, Anna Michael, at 39 years old.

Why is the election still ongoing?

The last contest of the midterm election cycle, Tuesday's election will not affect the balance of power in the new Congress that sits in January.

If white voters outnumber black voters two-to-one on Tuesday, Espy would have to win 30 percent or more of white votes, a tough task in a state with possibly the most racially polarised electorate in the country. Polls were closing at 7 p.m. local time, although people already in line at that time were allowed to stay and vote.

If Republicans hold on the seat, their majority in the US Senate will be extended to 53-47.

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